U.S. Bank profits down, deposits up; also: Best Buy would benefit from Circuit City closings, and Gander Mountain, Cabela’s back outdoors amendment

U.S. Bank profits are down, but deposits are up. The Minneapolis-based bank has fared better than most of its peers in recent weeks. However, third-quarter profits were down 47 percent, below analysts expectations. Deposits increased $14.4 billion, or 12 percent, however, as bank customers apparently pulled money from institutions most associated with the financial mess.

A little bit of a no-brainer: Analysts say Best Buy would be a winner if rumors are true about Circuit City closing at least 150 stores. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Circuit City was considering shuttering stores and laying off employees. Reuters reports today that 80 percent of Circuit City stores are within five miles of a Best Buy store. Not only would Best Buy likely gain sales, but it would also have more leverage with suppliers.

The state’s largest outdoors retailers say a proposed state constitutional amendment would be good for Minnesota and good for business. Gander Mountain and Cabela’s have invited supporters to host informational meetings in their stores, the Star Tribune reports. An anti-tax group opposes the measure and says it would benefit “special interests.” Voters decide Nov. 4 whether to adopt the amendment, which would create a three-eighths of 1 percent sales tax to benefit the arts, outdoors and environment.

Mosaic’s stock is moving up again on speculation that Cargill might increase its stake in the mining and fertilizer company. Bloomberg reports that an analyst at Soleil Securities says Cargill might “accept the gift that ‘Mr. Market’ is presenting” by increasing its stake while the market is down. A spokesman for Cargill declined to comment to Bloomberg.

3M profits were up 3.2 percent in the third quarter. MarketWatch reports the growth was caused by double-digit sales increases in the company’s safety, health care and industrial units. 3M’s sales in Latin America increased 26 percent over last year, the company reported. CEO George Buckley said the manufacturer’s “diversified global business model has enabled us to weather many economic storms.”

MinnPost writer Dave Beal has been appointed interim executive director of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, or SABEW. He’ll be in charge of overseeing all day-to-day operations for the 3,500-member organization. Beal, of Roseville, is also treasurer of the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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